• Laura Schaefer

You've Gone Viral-ish. What Should You Do Next?

Have you ever posted on LinkedIn, Facebook, or on another social media site and gotten a bigger response than you expected?


Your post sparked and started poppin' for hours or even days after you wrote it.


It's a great feeling, right?


Especially when you didn't anticipate the big response.


The question is: what do you do next?


You've just received some very valuable information about what topic is resonating with your audience...a place where you can definitely offer needed expertise.


You now see what your network cares about or how you can help them.


So, your job now is to provide MORE of that valuable knowledge and perspective.


But do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- begin to create a lot of friction between your knowledge and your audience.


This is not the time to invest six months into writing a book and then ask people to spend $18 on it.


Not yet, anyway.


Instead, offer more immediate value and keep testing your ideas.


Start by iterating on that original post, perhaps, or by offering up a free ebook download that goes deeper on your expertise.


Make it easy and seamless for those who are already paying attention to you to give you a little more attention.


I learned this lesson the hard way in 2012. Back then, I was writing articles for the online magazine Happen run by Match.com. I wrote a piece for them that got 3.64 million readers ("Why We Fall Out of Love"). And another that got 3.5 million two years earlier.


I remember right where I sat when I wrote one of those pieces...inside the Starbucks near West Towne Mall for any Madisonians who might be reading this. :-)


Anyway, I thought I should find a way to do more with the viral spark, so I turned it into a book and self-published via KDP at Amazon.


Crickets.


Too much time had gone by, and just because someone reads an article does not mean they want to buy a book about its topic.


Oops! If I had that moment back, I would've focused more on growing my audience by offering more value, not on immediately trying to sell something.


Build trust.


Give, give, give.


Help, help, help.


I just listened to Guy Raz's awesome podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz. He interviewed the two co-creators of Goodreads.com, a site I've been using for a very long time.


They got their first users, about 800 people, by reaching out to friends and family...people in their network already.


This is where all of us start when we're creating something new, right?


From there, the site kept growing slowly by improving itself and the user experience.


They didn't ask for anything from their members; instead, they offered value and connection. A community around books. What could be finer? :)


Eventually, these founders sold their baby for $150 million. It took *years.*


This is what we all need to do as entrepreneurs: Offer a ton of value to an audience that comes to trust us over time.


Keep this in mind the next time you write or make something that breaks through the noise.


All you have to do...is do it again.


But better.


If you are an attorney, coach, financial planner, healthcare professional, or specialized service provider who could use some help with your content, please reach out to me today.




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